The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is a global affairs think tank, founded in 1960. Its mission is "to inspire people to act on injustice and inequality through collaborative research and ideas that matter for people and the planet." It does this through "research, convening and influencing, to lead new thinking and future agendas to deliver transformational change." Its Chair is Suma Chakrabarti.
|Headquarters||203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ|
In 1960 ODI began in small premises in Regent's Park, central London and operated a library devoted to international development issues as well as performing consultancy work and contracts with the Department for International Development (then known as the Overseas Development Agency) of the UK government. Since then it has moved several times and is as of 2019[update] on Blackfriars Road.
Since 2004 it has had a Partnership Programme Arrangement with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The institute also developed a strong focus on communications and 'bridging research and policy'.
In 2007 the ODI was named 'Think Tank of the Year' by Public Affairs News magazine. It was named 'Think-tank to Watch' in the Prospect 'Think-tank of the Year' awards in 2005 and is considered to be in international policy circles to be one of the world's leading think tanks on development.
As of 2014[update] ODI had more than 230 staff. The chief executive is Sara Pantuliano. Alex Thier was ODI Executive Director 2017 – 2019. From 2013 until 2016 it was directed by Kevin Watkins who took over from Dr Alison Evans, formerly of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at Sussex University. ODI does not engage in teaching.
As of 2021, ODI conducts research and convening in the following global affairs areas:
ODI hosts regular event series with conferences and panels discussing a wide range of development issues. Speakers include ODI staff, visiting development policymakers, DFID officials and other prominent figures such as Justin Yifu Lin, the former World Bank Chief Economist, Julia Gillard, the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, and David Miliband, chief executive officer of the International Rescue Committee.
In 2020 ODI published 235 papers, research reports, briefings, case studies and analysis.
ODI runs a fellowship scheme, which sends young postgraduate economists of all nationalities to work in the public sectors of developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific on two-year contracts. Since 1963 ODI has sent over 1000 postgraduate economists to work in 40 mostly low-income countries. Participants were initially known as Overseas Development Institute Nuffield Fellows (ODINs) and later titled as ODI Fellows.
As a registered charity, ODI's income relies on "grants and donations from foundations, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, governments, multilateral agencies and academia".